MAZATLAN PROPERTY OWNERSHIP - OWNING PROPERTY IN MEXICO
Estrella del Mar offers the foreign investor one of the most secure forms of property ownership in all of Mexico. The following information describes the process of Mexican Property Ownership.
How Foreigners can own Real Estate in Mexico
The Restricted Zone
The Mexican Constitution regulates the ownership of the land and establishes that "...in a zone of 100 kilometers along the border or 50 kilometers along the coast, a foreigner cannot acquire the direct ownership of the land." These areas are known as the "Restricted or Prohibited Zones".
Fideicomiso or Bank Trust
Any foreigner or Mexican National can form a Fideicomiso (the equivalent to an American beneficial trust) through a Mexican bank in order to purchase real estate anywhere in Mexico, including the Restricted Zone. To do so, the buyer requests a Mexican bank of his/her choice to act as a trustee on his/her behalf.
The bank obtains the permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to acquire the chosen property in trust. The Fideicomiso can be established for a maximum term of 50 years and can be automatically renewed for successive 50 year periods. During these periods you have the right to transfer the title to any other party, including a member of your family.
The bank then holds the property in trust on behalf of the owner for the exclusive use of the buyer/beneficiary who has all the benefits of a direct owner, including the possibility of leasing or transferring his/her rights to the property to a third party or to a pre-appointed heir.
The trustee is responsible to the buyer beneficiary to ensure precise fulfillment of the trust, according to Mexican Law, assuming full technical, legal and administrative supervision in order to protect the interests of the buyer/beneficiary. Fideicomisos are not held by the trustee as an asset of the bank.
For practical purposes, even in unrestricted zones many foreigners prefer to hold their property under a Fideicomiso.
Notario Publico or Notary Public
The Notario Publico is a government appointed lawyer who processes and certifies all real estate transactions, including the drawing and review of all real estate closing documents, thus insuring their proper transfer.
Furthermore, all powers of attorney, the formation of corporations, wills, official witnessing, etc. are handled and duly registered through the office of the Notario Publico, who is also responsible to the government for the collection of all taxes involved.
In connection with real estate transactions, the Notario Publico, upon request, receives the following official documents, which, by law, are required for any transfer:
A nonlien certificate from the Public Property Registry based on a complete title search.
A statement from the Treasury or Municipality regarding property assessments, water bills, and other pertinent taxes that might be due.
An appraisal of the property for tax purposes.